In 2017, AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers helped 2.5 million people navigate complicated tax codes, ensure proper credits and deductions, and file their federal and state tax returns. Taxpayers who used AARP Foundation Tax-Aide received $1.37 billion in income tax refunds and more than $222 million in Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs). They also avoided any tax preparation fees and pitches for high-interest tax credit or refund loans.
From February 1 through April 17, AARP Foundation is providing free tax assistance and preparation through its Tax-Aide program. To find an AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site or more information, including which documents to bring to the tax site, visit aarp.org/findtaxhelp or call 1-888-AARPNOW (1-888-227-7669). AARP Foundation Tax-Aide is offered in conjunction with the IRS.
Town Hall Meetings
State Representative Carol Hill-Evans held a series of four town hall meetings throughout the month of November and AARP was invited to offer an educational seminar on preventing consumer frauds and scams. AARP provided tools and resources to help consumers protect themselves from falling victim to scams.
State Representative Hill-Evans also attended our most recent AARP York Team meeting which provided a good opportunity for open conversation about issues impacting seniors, veterans and the larger community. If you are interested in attending future meetings of the AARP York Team meeting, the next scheduled meeting date is Thursday, April 12 at 10:30 a.m. at Martin Library, 3 rd Floor, Bill Simpson Room. We invite all interested parties to connect with AARP staff and volunteers. Come check us out and help us to put a face of AARP in York County. For more information, please contact David Kalinoski.
Money Matters in Pennsylvania
On October 25, consumer protection experts from the Department of Banking and Securities, AARP Pennsylvania, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance participated in a “Money Matters” conference in Camp Hill which garnered more than 400 consumers.
Agreeing that financial fraud is preventable, experts discussed 10 simple, retirement protection strategies that consumers can use to protect themselves from fraud such as phone scams, identity theft, phony investment schemes, and other illegal activities stemming from the Equifax data breach.
The conference keynote address was delivered by the producer of the television show, American Greed, and event attendees were encouraged to sign up for the AARP Fraud Watch Network to learn more in order to protect themselves and their loved ones.
AARP Cuts Ribbon in York on Livable Communities Project
AARP joined with Mayor C. Kim Bracey, City Council, and rabbit transit leaders to cut the ceremonial ribbon unveiling four new AARP-branded bicycle racks and bicycle repair station at the busiest transportation corridor in the city of York. This dedication further anchored AARP's role in assisting the Mayor and city officials with extending the application of the city's Complete Streets policy. This is also the second change to the city's built environment that AARP has helped to implement this year, having dedicated a park bench, inspired with a quote from Ethel Percy Andrus, along the heavily travelled Heritage Rail Trail.
The bicycle racks and repair station were applauded by the Mayor as a welcome addition to York's downtown landscape. Last year, 13,000 bikes were transported on rabbit transit bus routes, up from 8,505 in 2015. In addition, of the 1.5 million riders on the city's fixed route service, over 570,000 riders either started or ended their trip at the downtown transfer station where AARP's new bikeability enhancements now reside.
New Bench Unveiling
On May 31, AARP Pennsylvania cut the ribbon on a new park bench along the Heritage Rail Trail in downtown York that features an inspirational quote from founder Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. The AARP bench is adjacent to the historic Colonial Courthouse and is one of six installed this spring. More than 1,000 people pass the bench location every week, and research shows nearly half of the trail users are over the age of 55. Enhancements to public facilities like the rail trail make it easier for residents of all ages to get outside and get moving, and leads to better health outcomes.
On May 26, AARP partnered with Crispus Attucks Association in York for a Motown Revue that recalled the days of doo-wop and soulful R&B. The fun event attracted 150 attendees as people dressed to impress and stopped by the AARP photo booth—complete with props to help them get their groove on.
William C. Goodridge Freedom Center Presentation
On May 24, York County members relived history at the city’s William C. Goodridge Freedom Center—an important stop on the nation’s underground railroad during the 19th century. The historic property and museum served as the setting for a reception and educational program that attracted 115 AARP members. The highlight of the program was a presentation by a living history interpreter portraying the character of William C. Goodridge, a former slave who risked his life and vast wealth to help strangers find freedom by hiding them in his home and concealing them in his railcars that traveled to Philadelphia every day.
AARP was one of several sponsors to a Candidates' Forum in the city of York on May 1 which attracted 200 residents to hear from two mayoral candidates and four candidates for city council. AARP volunteers were part of the coordinating committee for the event and helped to formulate candidate questions on making the city more livable for people 50 and older. If you are interested in local advocacy and connecting with elected officials on important issues impacting the 50+ community, please contact David Kalinoski to learn more.
Operation: Stop Scams
AARP partnered with Continental Paper Grading and the York County Economic Alliance on April 22 to host a free shredding event to help prevent identity theft and to further educate York County residents on various frauds and scams. Despite some steady rain, over 30 volunteers helped with the collection of 21,000 pounds of shredded paper from 431 cars, while signing nearly 400 participants up for AARP’s Fraud Watch Network. Participants also donated nearly 2,000 pounds of food to the York County Food Bank.
Department of Aging Volunteer Conference
AARP was proud to serve as a keynote speaker at the April 27 Pennsylvania Department of Aging Volunteer Conference in Camp Hill. Megan Hookey, Vice President of AARP’s Office of Volunteer Engagement spoke about connecting with today’s volunteers and matching interest with need. AARP is always on the lookout for energized and active volunteers.
The AARP York County Team meets at the Martin Library in downtown York. If you would like to join our ranks as a volunteer and see how you can help lend your talents and energies to our community work throughout the county, please contact David Kalinoski. We’re always looking for fresh faces with new ideas.
Movies for Grown Ups
Over the past couple of months, AARP Pennsylvania has offered several Movies for Grown Ups showings. In February, members and volunteers enjoyed a free screening of Maya Angelou: And I Rise, a documentary about the incomparable Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014), best known for her autobiography I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Random House). Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.
Dr. Angelou’s was a prolific life; as a singer, dancer, activist, poet and writer she inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. This unprecedented film weaves her words with rare and intimate archival photographs and videos, which paint hidden moments of her exuberant life during some of America’s most defining moments. From her upbringing in the Depression-era South to her work with Malcolm X in Ghana to her inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton, the film takes us on an incredible journey through the life of a true American icon.
Before the Movies for Grown Ups screening, AARP volunteers talked to attendees about Medicare, encouraging attendees to sign a petition which urges Congress to protect Medicare.
Food Box Packing
During the month of January, AARP staff and volunteers sorted and prepped donations for 822 senior food boxes that were delivered to homebound and isolated seniors throughout York county. On the third Friday of each month between 10 AM and 2 PM, volunteers head to the York County Food Bank to help assemble boxes and distribute food. If you would like to volunteer at our next community service project , please contact David Kalinoski.
ICYMI: AARP in Your Community - York 2017
By Leah Garloff , April 16, 2017 09:00 AM